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of Lutheranism But the “sign of the times,” which we hail with a more hopeful pleasure than any other, is the rise at this juncture of such men as Vinet, and Malan, and D'Aubignè, and Grandpiere, and Monod, and Gaussen, in the very heart of Europe. We do not wonder that Popery has gone forward comparatively unchecked, when it has had little else to oppose than a cold, dead, heartless rationalism. There was nothing in that to invite the papist to leave his pictures and his penances, his splendid ritual, and his happy confidence in priestly absolution. There was no vitality in it. It was a barren, unspiritualized, unblessed, “form of godliness,” without life enough to keep itself pure, much less to purify the corruptions without. Before Protestantism could make successful head against Popery, it was necessary to preach a better religion, and to live out a better religion, than it has done for the last century. We think, that in the present revival of religion in France and Switzerland, we see a promise of this, and in this promise we found our hope of a * New Reformation.” These discourses of Dr. Vinet are full of a spirit of vital, active piety. On the continent of Europe, where the sun of evangelical truth has been so long darkened, and has not given its light for the space of so many years, it is indeed a matter of joyful thankfulness to behold such a clear exposition and eloquent defense of the faith as it was once delivered to the saints. We have seldom seen a more beautiful portraiture of the heart religion of the Gospel than that presented by Dr. Winet. In the midst of acute and caviling rationalists, and of bigoted ritualists, he stands up and boldly proclaims that religion, which in all ages of the world has borne the impress of the harmonious perfections of its divine Author—which requires in its disciples the most child-like confidence, at the same time that it
affords scope for the loftiest investigation of the mightiest intellect— which alone of all religions reconciles the claims of offended Justice with the offer of mercy to offending man—which, no longer seen through the dim veil of outward ceremonies, and approached only by the intervention of earthly priests and confessors, reveals itself through the eye of faith to the humblest saint— which needs no ascetic crucifixion of all human appetites, and no monastic separation from all human duties, to preserve its inward peace, and its outward purity of life—a religion whose essence is love—whose founder is God—whose glory is the cross of Christ—and whose blessed consummation is the rest promised from before the foundation of the world. After portraying the blessings of this religion in the opening discourse, Dr. Vinet thus eloquently concludes:
“Let us together hail with our benedictions that religion, alone complete, which responds to all the wants of man, in offering to each of his faculties an inexhaustible aliment; a religion of the imagination to which it offers magnificent rospects; a religion of the heart which it softens by the exhibition of a love above all love; a religion of thought which it attaches to the contemplation of a system the most vast and harmonious; a religion of the conscience which it renders at once more delicate and tranquil ; but above all a religion of the grace and lore of God; for it is necessarily all these combined. * * * * *
“That which remained concealed from so and sages in the most briliant periods of the human intellect, twelve poor fishermen from the lakes of Judea quitted their nets to announce to the world. Certainly they had not more of imagination, of reason, of heart, or of conscience, than the rest of mankind; yet they put to silence the wisdom of sages, emptied the schools of philosophers, closed the gates of every temple, extinguished the fire on every altar. They exhibited to the world their crucified Master, and the world recognized in him that which their anxious craving had sought in vain for three thousand years. A new morality, new social relations, and a new universe sprung into being at the voice of these poor people, ignorant of letters, and of all philosophy. It remains with your ood sense to judge if these twelve poor shermen have used their own wisdom, or the wisdom which cometh from above. “We stop at this point—man is found incapable of sorming a religion, and God has come to the aid of his weakness. Bless, then, your God from the bottom of your heart, you who after long search have at last found an asylum. And you who still float on the vast sea of human opinion, you who violently driven from one system to another, feel your anguish increasing, and your heart becoming more and more tarnished; you who to this day have never been able to live with God, nor without God—come and see if this Gospel, scarcely noticed by your heedless eyes, is not perhaps that for which you call with so many fruitless sighs. And thou God of the Gospel ! Infinite Love 1 reveal thyself to wounded hearts, make thyself known to fainting spirits, and cause them to know joy, peace and true holiness.”—p. 47.
There are many other passages of equal force and excellence which we would like to quote, but the narrow limits we have prescribed to ourselves for this notice forbid.
We are heartily obliged to Mr.
Turnbull for presenting this work to the American public, in a translation of so much beauty and fidelity—and to the publishers, who in these days of cheap and dingy literature, have emulated the luxury of the London press. The volume is a valuable addition to the large number we already possess of densenses of vital Christianity; and we know of few works better calculated for men of thoughtful minds, who are harassed with painful doubts and skepticism. The preacher of the Gospel will find in it many things rich and new on the important subjects of Christian faith, the moral law, rationalism, atheism, and the principles of Christian morality; and especially to those men of large appetites for philosophical speculation, who have already drained the well of the Scottish Chalmers dry, we commend the untried depths of this new Chalmers of Switzerland.
MASS A C H U SETTS AND SOUTH C A R O LIN A.
IN our last number, we exhibited the proof of the fact that free persons of color, in general, are entitled to the protection guarantied by the Federal Constitution, in Section second of Article fourth of that instrument. We come now to consider the simpler proposition announced at the conclusion of that argument; that whatever is implied in the term citizen, and whether we were successful or not in establishing a general rule as to its application, the declaration of Massachusetts by her Constitution and laws, and by special act of her legislature, that the colored freemen of that state are citizens of the state, is conclusive as to that fact upon all other powers and upon every tribunal before which it may be called in question. We shall be understood, of course, to refer only to persons of
the above description not being aliens by birth. The question, “What is a citi- . zen P” is obviously and in its very nature distinct from the question, “Who are citizens in any particular state 2" In answering the first we are required to describe the essential attributes of citizenship, considered as a legal status or relation; in answering the second, to point out the persons or class of persons who in the given state possess those attributes and stand in that relation. We have endeavored, in our discussion thus far, to exhibit those principles of natural, common, and constitutional law, which furnish a general answer to both questions. According to the views which we have expressed, the essential attributes of citizenship, summing all up in one, may be taken to consist in a recog
nized right on the part of the individual to claim protection at the hands of the state, by means of all its appropriate agencies, according to the acknowledged principles of free governments and the declared fundamental laws of our own; that right being correlative to and growing out of his natural and legal duty, of allegiance and obedience to the state as a sovereign power; and as such, being recognized and guarantied, or at least not denied, by the state. And we have furthermore asserted the general doctrine, that citizenship, thus described, is coèxtensive with allegiance. Such is the solution we have given to the two questions, and we believe and know it to be the true solution. The principles on which it depends are drawn from the very source and fountain, the “principium et fons” of American law; and their application is broad as the country itself. They pervade, as their essential, vital principle, the whole body of our laws and free institutions. Their controlling force, their practical efficacy, have been recognized a thousand times, in all the modes of state action, judicial, legislative and executive. They never would have been called in question, but for the existence of an anomalous system, a peculiar institution, which can only be defended, and is only defended, by giving the lie to the solemn declaration with which we announced to the nations the commencement of our independent existence as free states. On a doctrine so established we can not be mistaken ; but even if that were possible, the proposition we have now to deal with must still hold good. For whether the essential attributes of citizenship have been correctly assigned or not, and whatever they may in reality be, the question still remains, “What persons, possessing those attributes in any given state, what persons standing in that relation to that state to which those attributes attach, are
thereby citizens of the state 2° a question which from the very nature and necessity of the case, can be decided only by an appeal to the state itself and to its laws. If the common and natural law doctrine, whatever that may be, controls, as we hold it does in general control, yet it is only as the accepted law of the state that it has force within the state; if, in opposition to that law and against natural right, a state chooses to deprive of those attributes any portion of her subjects, to disavow as to them that relation, to make them slaves, aliens, or outlaws, her inherent and purely physical power as a sovereign state so to act the despot, can not be gainsayed; if on the other hand she expressly declares, as to any class of subjects, that they do possess the attributes and hold the place of citizens, her declaration is conclusive as to the law, and her law establishes the fact. Now this latter is precisely the position of Massachusetts. She has, expressly and repeatedly, asserted the citizenship of the colored freemen within her borders. Nor has she merely called them citizens. She declares that she takes cognizance of no distinctions of color or caste among her subjects, as making a difference either in their rights or her duties. She recognizes the perfect and equal title of every member of her social system, whether in the less or the more favored condition in society, to claim protection at her hands in the enjoyment of every right which can possibly be considered essential to citizenship. And in all this she but affirms what has been her settled law for sixty five years. For the same Constitution which made the slave a free man makes the free man a citizen. So long as that Constitution stands, and the construction it has uniformly received, even aggressive legislation is impotent against him, to deprive him of that character or of any rights attaching to it. No tribunal before which the fact of citizenship might be in issue, not even the Supreme Court of the United States could possibly go back of that fundamental law, thus expounded, applied, declared, in Massachusetts. That high tribunal could define the citizenship intended in the Constitution; but the question whether the free colored man in Massachusetts is within that definition, it could decide only by resorting to the law of that state, and to the state construction of that law. It could furnish the test of citizenship, but the Massachusetts law must furnish the facts to which, in the particular case, the test must be applied.
As between the states, this doctrine has a peculiar force. To them the clause in question is at once a law and a covenant. In adopting it, they were stipulating, as distinct sovereignties, each in behalf of its own citizens, for their enjoyment of the rights it contemplates. Massachusetts obtained thereby a distinct guaranty from South Carolina, that her citizens should be entitled in that state to all privileges and immunities of citizens. Now under such a covenant, it were much to concede that South Carolina would have any right whatever to discriminate between persons prima facie citizens of Massachusetts as being her free subjects, and withhold the stipulated privileges from those whom she should see fit to regard as of inferior grade; for our own part, we believe that even the Supreme Court in construing the disputed clause would refuse to enter upon inquiry with a view to such discrimination, exactly as it undoubtedly would in applying the clause relating to suits between citizens of different states; but certainly, if the inquiry were to be permitted, the voice of Massachusetts could not be disregarded. It is her sole prerogative, and one of her highest, to fix and declare the position of those under her authority, as members of
her state or not. And her language is, and has been, that those whom God and nature have made her citizens, she will neither disfranchise herself nor suffer other powers to disfranchise. A state, disposed to abide by her covenant, but having a bona fide doubt as to the fact of citizenship, would respect, as she would be bound to respect, the solemn declaration of a sister state ; and one otherwise disposed, certainly ought not to have the power, at once to avoid her obligations and offer a high indignity to a co-equal sovereignty. It could not have been the intention of the states to make a covenant which should thus invite legislation not only injurious but insulting. South Carolina herself would have been the last to accede to such a compact. And here we can not forbear to notice, though at the expense of a digression, the very remarkable position which South Carolina has been forced to assume with reserence to this very point. She found herself obliged to meet, in some way, the allegations of Massachusetts. She had been charged with invading the rights of citizens of that state. In that character, if at all, had the persons whose constitutional rights were involved been injured. As her citizens, Massachusetts had made their cause her own. On their title to that character would depend the decision of any tribunal before which the case might be brought to issue. South Carolina must deny them that character, or surrendering the whole question, seek other and entirely different grounds on which to justify the obnoxious laws. Her Committee on Federal Relations, at the late session of her legislature, proposed and attempted to do this. The plain, straight-forward way of making up the issue would have been to deny, by resolutions, either that the persons in question were citizens of Massachusetts, or more generally, but to the same effect, that such persons, that is, free persons of color, were citizens of any state. But here arose a difficulty; one which no man would see quicker than a South Carolinian. The committee, we have no kind of doubt, saw and felt their utter incompetency, and that of their legislature, to make any such denial. They felt, and recoiled from, the gross impropriety, to say the very least, of pronouncing negatively upon the citizenship of colored persons in Maine, Vermont, Rhode Island, &c., and most of all in Massachusetts, in the face of her express affirmation of it. What then were they to do They went around the difficulty, and in this wise. They reported, and the legislature adopted a resolution declaring, that “Free negroes and persons of color are not citizens of the United States, within the meaning, &c. :” a declaration which is totally irrelevant and trifling unless it means that persons of that description are not citizens in the several states; are not citizens of Maine, of Vermont, &c., and more especially that they are not citizens of Massachusetts; unless, in other words, it says indirectly and by construction, what they had shrunk from saying directly. Thus conscience doth make cowards, even of South Carolina legislators It is worthy of remark that the phrase behind which the sovereign state has taken refuge, is one which for twenty five years past she has expressly repudiated; that all through her nullification troubles it was a capital point in her creed, as it was a necessary consequence of her principles, that there is no such thing as a ‘citizen of the United States,’ that phrase being a mere circumlocution; and that it is conceded by Mr. Rhett, in his labored defense of South Carolina, that in the only sense in which even as a circumlocution it can be correctly used, its application to free negroes was recognized by Acts of Congress in 1796 and 1803, and that Wol. III. 77
under the Act of 1796 many free colored seamen actually received certificates that they were “citizens of the United States.” We submit then that it has been proved; That the word citizen in the contested clause, as every where else in the Constitution comprehends all free persons native born or duly naturalized; that is, all persons owing allegiance, natural or acquired; but if it be conceded that the word denotes any determinate condition or relation, however described or defined, such as to exclude some of the persons whom we have claimed it includes, then; That the declared law of the particular state must guide and control any judgment or action upon the fact of citizenship; and That upon such a test the free colored man of Massachusetts is undoubtedly a citizen of that State. Before leaving this part of our subject, we stop to offer a single comment upon the course of reasoning usually pursued in supporting the opposite views. It consists almost always in an attempt to prove that free blacks were not citizens when the Constitution was adopted; from which fact, supposed to be proved, it is inferred that they can not be protected by the guaranty now, though they may have become undoubted citizens. Now this method of reasoning obviously proceeds on an entire misconception of the true nature and intention of the guaranty. The very essence of it is the relation between the rights secured and the character to which those rights attach; for it guaranties to citizens their rights as citizens. The capital word in it points out at once the nature of the privileges and the nature of the title to them. Rights, growing out of the primary essential relation between the state and the individual, are secured to such individuals as stand